Pre-K: What's In a Name?
Your children are settling into the routines of Pre-K so beautifully. Martine and I are very impressed! As we’ve been absorbing and referring back to the classroom guidelines we set last week, we are also noticing acts of kindness between friends. This is, without doubt, a kind group. We have watched one child rub a sad friend’s back, we’ve seen children finish cleaning up their assigned area and move to another to help, and we’ve heard lots of “do you want to play?” - and it’s just the end of our first full week! This first month or so is a time of moving through anxieties about the start of the year and beginning to feel confident as a community of individuals. Martine and I are starting to learn how best to connect with your children, how to support them, how to build their confidence and how to understand them as learners. It’s an exciting time.
Language and Literacy
Our literacy work this week focused on our names. We ask children to write them on just about everything they do. As much of our work this year revolves around the lower case alphabet, starting them off by writing their own names including lower case letters is a simple introduction. They made place cards for lunch, we tied our names into Writing about Reading through the book Alma and How She Got Her Name, and we examined the letters in both our own names and in each other’s. We also created our classroom alphabet through finger painting and negative space - take a look under the window in the art area! As we begin to introduce writing more formally, we will use a variety of sensory materials. An example this week was our use of smooth grooved sensory stones into which children fit wiki sticks. We are also already starting to focus on pencil grip, which we describe in Pre-K as “alligator” or “pencil” grip. Lots of activities throughout the year will help to strengthen those fine motor muscles, many of which you can try at home as well: using tweezers/tongs, manipulating pipe cleaners and play dough, beading...all work the muscles that children will use in beginning to write efficiently.
Math and Science
Our focus this week in math was simple number recognition and counting while demonstrating 1:1 correspondence, which is a foundation of future math work. While we stop at 10 at the beginning of the year, we will be building up to 20 as the year progresses. Our floor number line, connecting small chain links while counting and moving counters from one pile to another one at a time while counting out loud reinforces this skill. We will be building on it all year. We incorporated the letters in our names into some of our exercises as well, and children are already asking for math challenges and telling us “I want to do one more.” Our large “How many letters are in your name?” graph is hanging up on our math board - the children built it collaboratively today during group work.
We kept Dramatic Play and our Building Area pretty basic this week, as we wanted children to have familiar activities interspersed with new ones. We love watching the block structures grow and meals being served each day. Next week, those areas will look different, so, stay tuned.
Our goal this week was to encourage children to try different media that they will use during the year. They drew with chalk, used their hands and brushes to paint, stamped, cut and were very careful as they used watercolor to paint sunflowers. Lots of techniques and likes/dislikes emerged, and it will be interesting to watch as those develop throughout the year. Each month we ask each child to create a self portrait through looking in a mirror and recording what they see. Our first self portraits are on the wall above the cubbies, be sure to take a look!
We began our family traditions game! Throughout the coming weeks, we will be showing the group one of the family tradition photos hanging on our entry board. I give clues and the children have to guess whose family tradition it is. I’m hoping that, as everyone gets to know each other a bit better, a designated friend might be able to provide the clues instead of me.
Thank you for sharing your children with us; we can already tell it’s a special group. Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you on Monday when we start "Pp" week!
Emily and Martine
Alma and How She Got Her Name
My Magic Breath
My Name is Elizabeth
Questions to ask your child:
How many letters are in your name?
What is one way to be kind?
What is a bunny breath?
Who teaches Creative Movement?